Heart of Florida United Way Receives Grant from Bob Woodruff Foundation to Assist Military Veterans in Tri-County Area Impacted by COVID-19

Blog Template Bob Woodruff Grant

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is one of 26 organizations across the United States to receive an NFL-Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) partnership “Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community” grant. It’s been designated to the Mission United COVID-19 Recovery Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to ensure at least 20 post-9/11 veterans who’ve lost income due to COVID-19 sustain housing through the crisis. Eligible applicants could qualify for up to $2,500.

“We are appreciative of the Bob Woodruff Foundation for their continued partnership with our Mission United program,” said Jeff Hayward, president/CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “This is one of several programs through Heart of Florida United Way that supports Florida residents who have fallen on hard times. Since March, requests for assistance have quadrupled. This assistance will ensure at least 20 will remain stably housed through the crisis without adding debt from housing and utility payments. These individuals served our country and fought for our freedom. It’s the least we can do as a country – and community – to support our veterans.”

Mission United is a collective-impact initiative, and BWF local partner, that provides case management and direct assistance in housing and employment to ensure that veterans and their families maintain stability while seeking additional services.

Florida has one of the highest veteran populations in the United States, with more than 100,000 in the Orlando tri-county area. With 281,941 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector alone, the Orlando Metropolitan area is also one of 15 communities cited in the BWF research paper, “Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of American’s Veterans,” as facing significant economic impact due to the pandemic.

“We recognized early on that our veterans and their families were going to be facing a slew of urgent and long-term challenges due to COVID-19. Our original research paper helped us quickly pivot and push support where it is needed most,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “Now more than ever, we need to step up for those who have selflessly served. We’re so proud to work with organizations – like Heart of Florida United Way – across the country who are changing lives with this funding.”

Criteria to be considered to receive this one-time assistance includes being a military Veteran who experienced job loss as a result of COVID-19.  

The Veteran (and family) must also live within the City of Orlando or Orange, Osceola, or Seminole counties.  

Veterans can apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HFUWvet.

  • Veterans must provide a DD214
  • A letter from employer about employment status
  • A photo ID
  • And lease/rental agreement.

All applications are accepted on a first-come,
first-serve basis.

Dial 2-1-1 to be pre-qualified to receive support through the Mission United program.